BLAGODER Yu.G. Russian Emigrants in China in the 1920–1930s: Two Civil Wars on the Same Life Route


Yuliya G. Blagoder

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Professor,

Department of History, Philosophy and Psychology, Kuban State Technological University,

Moskovskaya St, 2, 350072 Krasnodar, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The purpose of this study is to present a picture of the life path of Russians (military, cossacks) who witnessed and participated in two civil wars: in Russia and in China. This topic is relevant, since its research allows us to analyze the ways of adaptation of people who have experienced severe forms of transformation in various spheres of life of the two states.

Methods and materials. The source base of the study is represented by narrative sources (personal diaries of Russian emigrants A.P. Budberg, G.P. Larin, E.N. Pastukhin, A.A. Tikhobrazova, I.I. Shtina) and periodicals published in Russian by Russian emigrants in China in the 1920 (newspapers “Molva”, “Zarya”, “Russian Voice”, “Gun-Bao”). To present a multifaceted picture of the life of Russian emigrants in China, the following methods were used: dialectical, systemic, analytical-synthetic, historical-comparative, historicalanthropological.

Analysis. This study examines the unique history of various categories of emigrants who survived the collapse of spiritual values, ideology, political and economic systems, and the breakdown of the social structure during the civil wars. Against the background of political games, battles, the formation and destruction of military alliances, the story of former Russian military and civilians unfolds, who, in search of earnings and / or for ideological reasons, fought in the ranks of the military units of the Chinese militarists in the 1920–1930. The presented study reflects the struggle between Soviet and anti-Soviet ideology in the Far East, in China: the participation of Russians in the civil war in China, condemnation of Soviet policy on the pages of personal diaries and Russian-language newspapers published in China, support by some public organizations of fascist ideology and the occupation policy of Japan.

Results. Historical events were identified that linked the fate of a large number of representatives of the two states. Shown are the various life paths that Russians chose in a foreign land, the difficulties they faced. Their attitude to the spiritual (moral) values of Russian culture is noted. The problem of disunity between military units and their leaders, which killed the “white” army in the civil war in Russia, was not overcome in China. The modern world never ceases to accept the challenges of supporters of radical transformations. This increases public interest in the experience of adaptation of Russian emigrants in China.

Key words: civil war in Russia, civil war in China, Russian émigrés, “white” army, Cossacks, Russian diaspora in China.

Citation. Blagoder Yu.G. Russian Emigrants in China in the 1920–1930s: Two Civil Wars on the Same Life Route. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 181-191. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

Russian Emigrants in China in the 1920–1930s: Two Civil Wars on the Same Life Route by Blagoder Yu.G. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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